Ad Astra teams up with nation’s largest community college to design student-centered pathways that lead to workforce outcomes
Ad Astra, the developer of popular scheduling solutions now used by over 500 colleges and universities, today announced a new partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, the largest singly accredited statewide community college in the United States, to increase student success and decrease time to completion by designing a student-centered course schedule. The new initiative will also examine data from Ivy Tech’s more than 40 locations to ensure that degree pathways are responsive to the needs of their students and align with high wage, high demand careers aligned with the needs of the local workforce.
Colleges and universities across the country are rethinking their offerings to meet demand from adult learners, many of whom are juggling complex schedules combining work, study, and family commitments. According to research from the Higher Education Scheduling Index, nearly a quarter of all courses are overloaded, a common indicator of bottlenecks where students are struggling to get access to the courses they need. Meanwhile, 44 percent of courses are underutilized, indicating that institutions are offering excess courses or creating course schedules that are misaligned with student needs.
“Too often the course schedule can be an unintended barrier to students achieving their objectives, especially as they try to balance their personal, work, and education ambitions,” said Dr. Kara Monroe, provost and senior vice president at Ivy Tech. “Ivy Tech is excited to partner with Ad Astra as we continue to examine our degree pathways and course schedule. We want to meet our student needs in the highest quality and most efficient manner possible. Doing so allows us to help them enter the Indiana workforce either directly, or after completing a transfer program, as quickly as possible.”
Ivy Tech will utilize Ad Astra’s SaaS Analytics platform, which enables colleges and universities to analyze enrollment trends, space utilization, and scheduling practices to help colleges maximize resources and optimize each student’s course schedule based on their modality, location, and length of program. The new partnership will help ensure that Ivy Tech’s course offerings are tightly coupled with the needs of the regional labor market, which is important because more than 90 percent of Ivy Tech graduates remain in Indiana after graduation.
“Higher education is facing a much different reality than it was earlier this year, as many colleges are grappling with the best way to support adults and returning students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tom Shaver, founder and CEO of Ad Astra. “Learners must come first and, now more than ever, students need to know that they will be able to complete their degrees and secure employment upon graduation. Ivy Tech has recognized the critical role of implementing student-centric course schedules in achieving its objectives.”
In addition to Ivy Tech, Ad Astra also partners with five of the six largest community colleges in the U.S. including Houston Community College, Miami Dade College, Tarrant County College, and Northern Virginia Community College.
About Ad Astra
Ad Astra, the industry leader in higher education scheduling software solutions, partners with more than 500 colleges, universities, and systems worldwide. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Ad Astra offers data-informed software and professional services that help institutions effectively allocate space and faculty resources, forecast student demand, and accelerate student completion. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company currently holds a United States patent for its innovative method of determining student demand for academic courses. Academic institutions that partner with Ad Astra experience improved stewardship of instructional resources, streamlined student access to courses, and accelerated student completions. Ad Astra was the 2018 recipient of the Complete College of America Seal of Approval for Structure. Learn more at aais.com and follow us @AdAstraIS or on LinkedIn.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.